Enda happily began chowing down on the foreign cuisine, finding the unusual spices irresistible. The slurp of juice from a cup soon accompanied the concert of utensils against plate, and Gray's portion arrived not long after. The girl really could put food away, in an almost... unnatural amount and rate of consumption. It hardly took ten minutes before she was asking for seconds. Thankfully, it was halfway through the third serving that finally sated her appetite, leaving her stuffed and slightly bloated.
Grayell didn't put away that much food and was done already. He had been sipping tea and watching her consume and inordinate amount of food, then laughed when she stated her being so full. He paid for the meal plus a decent tip and then stretched in his chair, speaking with a whining, grunting kind of noise that one makes when speaking and stretching in unison.
"Well then Princess Enda, I think it's about time we got you some art supplies and then got you home. What do you say?"
"Oh! Oh! Like blue, and purple, and green, and red, and octarine..." The listing of colors went on, some of them not even sounding like real colors, prefixed or suffixed with ultra- or infra-.
But it didn't take long at all before they reached the art supply store, and upon entering, a great sum of artistic supplies each sought her attention. The colors, innumerable, seemingly to strain one's concept of the idea that there could be a limit to their variety.
Enda spent a good half-hour cataloging the many arrays of tools and items for a burgeoning artist, eventually settling on a large pack of chalk, containing an array of colors.
She shuffled up to Grayell, holding it up to him as if it were a trophy and she was showing it off.
Grayell was almost surprised by the amount of chalk she'd selected, but in no way was he about to stop a blooming artist from getting supplies. He had terribly fond - and confusing memories of Cel's pictures on the wall of the cave he'd renovated for her. He'd visited there often before the sea swallowed it up, finding it a great place to reminisce and be alone. Time and the sea swallowed it up and it felt.... well like he'd lost something.
But wow. Cel with a kid. And such a cute little button too.
He smiled as he placed the chalk on the counter and then coughed up the amount of coin to take it out the door. He carried the chalk and the clothing for Enda, letting her practice her yoyo on the way home.
"Alright kiddo, time we got you home to your Mother I think. It's been quite the day, yeah?"
The girl happily worked on her yoyo-ing skills, which had begun progressing into either weaponizing it or trying to send the object flying off the end if its string (to no avail).
"Mmmm... yeah... Okay!"
Enda spoke as if she had not been paying attention to him, and everything had caught up at the last moment. She trotted over to a nearby manhole, leaping onto a side of it and plunging into the depths below, the lid flipping a few times before settling into its grooves again.
Grayell laughed once more. That had been the one thing constant throughout his adventure with Enda, how easily she amused him. It was grand to have such a delightful little person about. The only issue with that of course, was that his damned cheeks were sore from smiling so much.
But he lifted the sewer cover with a grunt, peeked in and then plunged in after her. He dragged the plate back into place, then dropped into the water that ran through the large storm drains under this portion of the town.
It was damp, dark, and overall very moist. A faint smell of, well, sewage (obviously), pervaded, but was far from overpowering.
"This is one of the tunnels where rain comes through, in case it floods up above, so it's not gonna be stinky, but we will have to cross one of those tunnels to get to mom's. Just pinch your nose, liek dis."
She gave a rather exuberant example before leading him through. A few areas had water coming clean over the rivers hewn into the stone, others were nearly empty, a particular one was filled with the previously warned waste and runoff, but was quickly passed over. On the whole, very few rats and other vermin were about, strangely. The ones that were seen looked quite small, almost comically so. Eventually, they made it back to the large antechamber, and the twisted iron grate which marked the entrance to their home.
"Mom, I'm hooo- wait, Mom, are you hidin'? No, you're not hidin', and you're not invisible... so~"
Enda turned to Grayell.
"Mom's doin' stuff somewhere, I'm gonna go look for her, if you wanna come!"
Enda began trotting off back through the maze, seemingly at random.
"Oh, she could be fishing for cave lobster, or clams, 'cause they live down here, or she could be out by the docks, getting some salty fish. She might be- whups, don't go down there, that's a bad well that way. Uuuh, she might be a lot of places, but, lessee... uh... hrm. Hang on."
Enda stood perfectly still a few moments, closing her eyes, listening carefully to her surroundings.
"Okay, this way!"
She trotted down another passage, winding around a little. A slight ringing noise, not unlike the sound of wet glass, seemed to be growing in tone and volume. A few minutes later, they entered into a huge arched chamber, leading up to a well from one of the richer districts. Flowing in from several directions were rivers, tumbling down into a series of waterfalls, in turn flowing down to a massive reservoir, in which Celephai was bathing in the shallows of.
"Mo~m! We're back!"
Enda's voice echoed throughout the massive chamber, reminiscent of the noise they'd heard earlier. Cel turned quickly in the water, quickly spotting Grayell and covering her more sensitive portions with her tentacles.
"Ah- aha, so you are. Welcome home, girly~. And you too, Grayell. So, what kind of trouble did you get into today, little one?"
The question first seemed directed to Enda, but Cel stared at Grayell for a few moments longer, as if expecting him to answer first.
"Nuthin'! I was rilly good 'n stuff!"
"Mmmhmmm... somehow, I doubt that. Come here, we'll at least clean you physically, not much I can do for your brain or soul. So, Gray, how large a fine has my little girl racked up?"
Enda sprinted toward her mother, leaping into the air with a squeal and a grunt as she was caught by a deft tentacle, the other one quickly stripping the little girl of her garments and tossing them to the edge with a precision to be envied. Celephai quickly set to work scrubbing her offspring, turning both herself and Enda away from Grayell's likely averted eyes.
He might have been caught off guard and might have happened to stare for a moment, he was only a man after all. But yes, he quickly averted his eyes. It wasn't that he hadn't seen it all before and Cel was... well incredibly gifted physically, but it would be just plain rude to play it off and gawk at her.
He spun on his heel and cleared his throat.
"No, she's been a perfect princess. The merchants think she's entirely adorable, which she is; and we had a wonderful day. Not a single thing went wrong. I left the clothes and chalk back at your... house. I had a great time with her."
"Is that so...? Tell me, little one, at the cost of your dinner: Were you a good little princess?"
The response, garbled by being half-submerged, seemed honest enough to Celephai. She smiled, pulling a very soapy Enda out of the water and setting her on a step. She grabbed Enda's clothes with a tentacle, setting them on a shallow step to soak, and resumed washing her little girl.
"Oh, very well. So you've at the very least not been caught, which is a skill I suppose I can admire. I can assume that Grayell fed you as well? He certainly seems to have taken a liking to you... which is dangerous considering the company he keeps."
Celephai gave an over-dramatic sigh, rolling her eyes.
"Well, I suppose as long as you learned something, little worm, I have no reason to scold you. Grayell, however, isn't allowed to get away so easily."
She looked over her shoulder at him, something between a sneer and a grin plastered across her face, only to be met with Grayell's back. It wasn't long before Celephai lifted their garments out of the water, spinning them each on a tentacle fast enough to send most of the moisture spinning through the air, essentially spin-drying their clothes.
Soon after that, Enda was clothed and dry, bare feet padding on stone back toward her home. Celephai swiftly dressed herself (as much as a single article of clothing can be considered 'dressed'), setting a hand on Grayell's shoulder.
"I thank you, for today. You've really made her happy, and that's something I have trouble bringing to anyone."
"You'll be spoiling my child rotten at this rate, and I'll have to deal with that much more than you will."
She couldn't hold back a smile, the man had done her a great service, and she was hard-pressed to tell him off.
"Well, sir, I'd try to reimburse you for your money spent, but you'll just refuse, won't you? That, beyond most things, is what gets me. It's a forced debt! I hate owing people, most of all you, whom will likely ask only the most humiliating and debased form of repayment..."
Cel continued on, grinning as she complained about the circumstances. Enda had long since disappeared into the labyrinth as they spoke, likely already in bed. Eventually Cel began to finish her satire.
"...and certainly I'll have to get Captain Mikael after you for corrupting my little girl, whom you won't even admit to fathering. Huff. Well. If you're going to have- Heh... If you're going to have your way with m- With me- Ahah... Hahah! W- well, sir, you'd best- best have at it- Ohah! I... Alright, alright, I've had my fun at your expense. Is there anything you want, Grayell? I mean, something to keep me out of debt with you?"
She maintained a genuine smile, still reeling from her tirade.